Posts Tagged ‘Trends’

Target: Critical challenges

March 21, 2008

Target ImageAs a follow-up to an earlier post on the 2008 Horizon Report, here’s what The Horizon Project Advisory Board identify as the main challenges facing higher ed over the next five years (p. 5):

  • Need for innovation and leadership, at all levels, due to shifts in scholarship, research, creative expression and learning: “Experimentation must be encouraged and supported by policy”
  • Increasing expectation that services and content will be delivered to mobile and personal devices
  • Collaborative learning means having to develop new forms of interaction and assessment
  • Need for instruction in how to create meaningful content with Web 2.0 tools, as well as instruction in visual, information and technological literacy. In particular, this asks us how are we going to develop curricula and assessments that apply to competencies in communication in blogs, digital videos, wikis, photo essays and the like?

These challenges are very similar to those identified in the 2007 Horizon Report, so it’s clear that we’re seeing a significant pattern emerge in terms of what’s needed in higher ed in the near future. Let’s hope we’re up to being creative and sensible in our responses to these issues as we meet them.

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Target: SOSs – a primer

March 14, 2008

Target ImageSocial operating systems (SOSs) are identified by Educause in their Horizon Report 2008 as one of the key emerging technologies in education. Unlike social networking systems (such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace), which contain uncontextualised information about users, and then only the connections we have explicitly told them about, Social Operating Systems will be able to take all the data that we have generated on the Web, aggregate it through an API (Application Programming Interface), and provide accurate information about the strength, depth and endurance of our connections.

How? you ask. Well, it’s going to be thanks to our friend Mr Web 3.0 and how he interprets the social graph we are creating with every click of a mouse. Here’s how the Horizon Report describes the social graph:

… the network of relationships a person has, independent of any given networking system or address book; the people one actually knows, is related to, or works with. At the same time, credible information about your social graph is embedded all over the web: in the carbon-copy fields of your emails; in attendee lists from conferences you attend; in tagged Flickr photos of you with people you know; in your comments on their blog posts and in jointly authored papers and presentations published online. (p. 26)

As Google says (and that’s their picture, below), if you take away the documents, you’re left with the connections between people.

Social Graph

SOSs will solve the headache of multiple log-ins and having to re-enter your data in each new social networking site you join, because the system will focus on you and not on the website you are joining. Tim Berners-Lee (who’s gotta know a thing or two) points to the example of booking a plane flight: what interests me is the flight, not the travel company’s website. An SOS will be able to integrate all the information about that flight from various sources and present me with what I need to know. It will be the event/situation/me that will be uppermost, not the websites or the devices or infrastructure that support the SOS.

How all of this relates to education, will be explored in a later post.

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Target: Horizon Report 2008

March 14, 2008

Target ImageEach year, I hang out for Educause to release its Horizon Report, which identifies key emerging technologies, their likely impacts on education, and their Time To Adoption (TTA). The focus is on higher education, but there’s always something in the report for all educators. Here’s this year’s list:

Horizon Report 2008

  1. Grassroots video: newsclips, tutorials, information videos. This is a great class fieldwork tool for data collection. Also, videopapers and videoprojects around a topic encourage students to research, develop and present ideas in visual form. (p. 11). TTA = 1 year or less.
  2. Collaboration webs: collaborating on group documents, holding online meetings, swapping info and data. Virtual collaborative workspaces can be used for a course or study group, as well as personal portfolios (blog posts, photos, shared videos) (p. 14). Some courses at Arkansas State University are using Facebook instead of the campus LMS. YAY!!!!! TTA = 1 year or less.
  3. Mobile broadband: mobile access to internet content and software. Students collecting fieldwork data an take notes and photos and send them straight to a course blog for feedback (p. 18). TTA = 2-3 years.
  4. Data mashups: using combinations of data from different sources (e.g., Flickr, Facebook, Twitter) and bringing them together in Open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to create new understandings of data relationships and how we think about the world (p. 21). TTA = 2-3 years.
  5. Collective intelligence: which emerges from large groups of people coming together to create collective knowledge stores (cf Wikipedia and Freebase). These provide opportunities for self-study and practice in the construction of knowledge (p. 23), as well as learning from experts already working in the field. TTA = 4-5 years.
  6. Social operating systems: these will organise around people rather than content. SOSs will show how deep our relationships are, as well as being able to measure trust and credibility. There are huge implications here for collaboration, research and professional portfolios (pp 26 – 28). TTA = 4-5 years.

Numbers 1 – 5 didn’t really surprise me, but I doubt I would have come up with such a coherent list on my own ;)

What’s going on with social operating systems, however, blew me away, not least because they point to the emergence of Web 3.0, the semantic web. It also nicely dove-tails with some research I’m currently doing on ‘digital footprints’ in preparation for the Canberra keynote I’ll be giving at the 2008 edna and me workshop tour. So, more on social operating systems in future posts.

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Web trend map

January 8, 2008

Now here’s something that’s very cool. It’s a ‘web trend’ map, laid out like a metro map. Check it out at Information Architects. This is version 2: an earlier version was released about six months ago (from what I can tell).

It’s interesting to compare the two, especially the increases in influence and importance for mobs such as Google and YouTube, and corresponding decreases for Microsoft and Yahoo.

Thanks to Kerry Johnson of for putting me on to this site.

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